Thursday, April 24, 2014

Simple Pleasures

   There are many things that make me happy because I am genuinely a happy person. Right now I am beyond happy, dare I say giddy, because I have a brand new  pencil sharpener in my classroom! Early in the school year I had to take over a classroom. I was welcomed with a great class, great set-up and a not-so-great pencil sharpener. I stuck with it because a good pencil sharpener is NOT cheap.
   Last week I finally caved and ordered a new pencil sharpener because I couldn't stand it any longer. It was seriously taking about 2 minutes to sharpen one pencil. It was getting to the point that I had to use another teacher's pencil sharpener. My brand new beauty arrived in the afternoon yesterday and I was able to use it today. Amazing! I couldn't sharpen enough pencils. What took 2 minutes now takes mere seconds. I feel like a new woman.
   Sharpening pencils was one of the best moments of my day. Now I don't have any more pencils to sharpen because a pencil monster seems to eat them all up. May I should invest in a never ending pencil!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Go Away Monday

  Why do Mondays have be so....Monday? It doesn't matter how delightful my weekend was, Monday always finds a way to let me know it's the beginning of the work week, the real world week (this is when everything shuts down on Friday and you forget about it until the cycle starts again on Monday), and that I'm still far away from Friday. Tuesday isn't as fun either. I'll take Wednesday and Thursday over Monday and Tuesday.
  Today is a Monday due to the fact that I'm coughing like a mad woman again! This time I have a stuffy/runny nose combo instead of aches, chills and a fever. I really hope it's allergies bothering me this time and not another chest infection. While I was waiting my turn in line at the drug store so I could buy some allergy medication the woman in front of me heard me cough and said, "Oh that sounded like me last week. I thought it was allergies too, but it turned out to be bronchitis." I told her if my immune knew what was good for it then it wouldn't play that game because I just finished being sick a month ago. If I have bronchitis my immune system needs to have serious heart-to-heart because I am over this. I
   Also, this lovely Monday is the day that I'm supposed to make a payment on my veggie share through Annie's Buying Club. Guess what website isn't working? If I don't pay for it tonight I don't get my yummy vegetables or there are fees or something like that. I'll be upset if I don't get to finally try this buying club out! Organic veggies are on my to get-healthy list and it's important that I am able to start soon.  I'm just a bit agitated.  And impatient.
   I guess my Monday wasn't that horrendous, but it could have kept the upbeat attitude from Easter. The Baby Monster and I had to spend his first Easter without my hubs because of work. We still had fun though! The night before Easter we dyed eggs while my husband was at work- I'm seeing a pattern here. Then Easter morning we looked in his  Easter basket and the Easter Bunny was real good to him. He got Bible stories, an Easter onesie and Here Comes Peter Cottontail. We were able to watch that with my hubs. The rest of the day was followed by naps and dinner with my grandmother, aunts, mom, dad, and cousin. It was a lovely day and I only hope everyone else enjoyed their Easter Sunday as well.
   Oh gee, I'm having a coughing fit again. It makes it hard to type when I'm constantly coughing, so for now I have to say goodnight.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday's Moments

    Today lived up to The Many Moments Blog's title. They are all note worthy moments and, let's be honest, Wednesdays need some spice. Unless you've been living under a rock, you may have heard of the Blood Moon that made it's appearance early Tuesday morning. The rare phenomenon was talked about on just about every news station in my area. Unfortunately, I needed to sleep that morning and missed it. That's okay because today at recess my kiddos and I gazed upon a sun halo.
    I had no idea what was going on, but my kiddos kept saying, "It's a rainbow by the sun! Look at the rainbow!" I thought they were seeing things because I was looking for a very bright "traditional" rainbow, but once I followed the direction of their pointed fingers I saw it. Science lesson: a sun halo occurs when the light shines through ice crystals. It A rainbow is when light passes through water droplets. And if you are curious to know what a sun halo looks like, check out this link. I had never seen a sun halo before today and I'm glad that I did. I've seen halos around the moon thinking that they were simply beautiful to look at.
    Nature didn't stop it's performance after the halo sighting. While I was sitting on the couch feeding the Baby Monster, I looked out the window quickly and had to stop. Sitting on a tree branch was a beautiful, bright red cardinal. My phone was next to me so I took a picture because the sight was too pretty to pass up. When I lived in New Jersey I remember my mom telling me how much she loved to see a bright red cardinal against the snowy winter backdrop. I haven't seen snow in 12 years, but seeing the cardinal brought me right back to my childhood.

I love this photo because from the top to the the branch that the bird is sitting on reminds me a New Jersey winter, while it mixes with the bottom half that is a typical day in Florida when the clouds roll through. It's like how I had to mix it up when I moved here. 
    Last, but not least, I got my behind off the couch and got my sweat on! My little man fell asleep at 8:15. This mama could not be happier that he's going to bed earlier. Ever since he started crawling and trying to stand he sleeps better. That means I am able to get work outs in. 
    I completed Day 4 of my S-P-P challenge and then found myself on Youtube to use a video by Dance Fitness with Jessica. If this is the first time you have heard of her then go check her out right after reading this! The video showed up on my FB news feed late February when a friend posted about her great leg workout. At that time I was trying to figure out what type of exercise I would actually be interested in doing when I saw the video. It was like a sign from God telling me to get off my behind so I can live long enough to enjoy my son. 
   Back in my heyday (sadly it feels like I peaked at age 14) I used to be a cheerleader and a dancer. It all ended when The Move happened. I don't know why it never occurred to me to use dance as a workout routine, but you know hindsight is 20/20. Bam! I am full of over used cliches tonight. I had been planning to use this video since February, but I needed to buy new sneakers. I finally bought new sneakers that are AWESOME and never started because I got horribly sick in March during my Spring Break which I had decided was my launching point. Tonight just seemed perfect for it. I LOVED every moment of it. I even did two videos. My legs are going to kill me tomorrow, but secretly I am going to enjoy every hurt because I know it's leading me to something greater. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


My decision making process concerning food choices is stuck on repeat. I make the same stupid mistake over and over again. I can't even call it a mistake. A mistake is something that results from committing an act where you weren't aware of the consequences. When I make these poor choices I aware of the consequences and how they make me feel. Sometimes I wonder if it is food addiction, but I think that is going to the extreme. What I suffer from is boredom. I have no reason to be bored. Once I get home from work I have a baby to take care of and a home to maintain. When I get bored I eat. That is not a healthy cause and effect relationship. When I'm bored I should read a book, organize something that I know needs organization, get my son out of the house and take a walk; instead I turn to food because it's right there. All I have to do is walk to the kitchen grab something and have instant satisfaction. The entire time I'm doing it I know I shouldn't because I know how terrible I am going to feel. It makes me feel ashamed. It makes me feel weak. It makes me feel foolish. When I eat healthy, make time for exercise and make the right choices I feel invincible. Maybe that seems silly, but it is difficult for me not to turn to food. Goodness, my entire life revolved around food. I've talked about it before. What is easier to get your kids when you're struggling with financials, but what to give them a treat? A Happy Meal. What's something easy to do when you're husband is working two jobs and you are left feeling like a single mother to three children? Make the fastest, simplistic meal possible. I don't fault my parents. I know they tried their best. My mom was just trying to gift us with a luxury she didn't have growing up. My father was just passing on family habits that he learned while growing up. I'm trying to break them now and it's a fight! Making the conscience decision to eat right and be active is a daily struggle that I face every day when I wake up. I'm not addicted to the food, I'm just used to my habits. Changing a habit or creating a new one does not happen overnight. For instance, I've been doing Weight Watchers since August. I have lost 44 pounds since then. It's been about 7 months since I started and it wasn't until recently did I acknowledge I had lost so much weight. I felt like I should have been working harder at it, however I realized the reason why tracking my food didn't feel like "work" was due to the fact that it has become a part of my life. It took me 7 months to feel that way. I don't want to just track food anymore. I don't want to eat a bag of potato chips just because I can and it is within my point range. I want to choose foods that I will not only enjoy, but have a healthier pay off. That is where I am struggling. Add the boredom (which is me getting tired of this routine I created) to the struggle and that is why I make the poor decision every time. I am stronger than that! I went to work 11 days after having my son because I needed to provide for my family after Life threw us a major curve ball. I have stayed strong for every moment my mother has had to go to the hospital, wondering if that visit was her last because she would never come home. I survived the fear that overcomes a person when they learn their mother went into cardiac arrest. At 14 years old I was able to pick up the pieces of my life when it turned upside down after having to move 2,000 miles away from everything and everyone I knew and loved because my family had to. Yet, the ability to make a good choice concerning my health cuts me at the knees. Two weeks ago my week was fantastic. I was 4 pounds away from seeing the 100's again. Last week was horrible and the result was not good. I promised myself that this week would be better, but here it is, Tuesday with nothing but poor choices for the past two days. I still have five days to turn this week around so I vow to do it. A lot can happen in five days. It has to because I am done with the self sabotage. I don't care if I'm bored, stressed, sad, happy or anything else. I will not use food to help. No more of this, I have better things to write about than my constant struggles and defeats related to food and health. I am better than this. Next time I talk about food I am going to talk about how I chose to use it for fuel instead of fun. I'm also going to talk about the new, exciting hobby or activity I completed in food's place. I'm turning off repeat.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Get Your Squats, Push-Ups and Planks On!

   Happy Sunday! It has been a beautiful day here in the Sunshine State. My sister took the Baby Monster shopping with her today. Aunt and nephew bonding time gave me a few hours to myself. Normally I would take this time to sleep, but my son finally got the hint that weekends are for sleeping in past 6:30 A.M. and he woke up two hours later than normal Those extra two hours allowed me to feel well rested.
   Since two hours to myself is like vacation time I went to the mall to pick up our family portraits from the portrait studio, bought two adorable outfits for Baby Monster because I couldn't help myself, visited the hubs at work, and had an iced coffee with one of my nearest and dearest. It was heaven. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon with my baby boy and mom. Like I said, it was a lovely day.
  My day was almost ruined by a selfish driver who did not stop at the stop sign. One major pet peeve of mine has always been people who think they are above the law or any rules that society follows. Now that I am a mom it infuriates me even more when I come across those kinds of people. We were almost home from my visit with my mom when I pulled into my complex. I'm incoming traffic and therefore do not have to stop. However, the man driving the car who wanted to exit the complex thought he did not have to stop either even there are signs there say, "Incoming traffic does not stop". He didn't even acknowledge my car. He just blew right through the stop sign. I knew he was going to do it and stopped because I saw he wasn't slowing down as he was approaching the sign. I should have blown my horn, but I was angry. My baby was with me. It's one thing if someone were to hit my car with just me in it. That driver would get a piece of my mind and a visit from law enforcement. It's another thing if someone were to hit me while my son was in the car with me. Then I'd rain all hell on you. Selfish people like that get my blood pressure going which is why I need to work out.
  Here is the challenge that I talked about in yesterday's post.  I think I need to do another round of these this evening after my experience, but I finished Day 2 this morning before baby boy woke up.
As you can I did not create this challenge. It looks like it belongs to Dawn ( it is called Dawn's 30 Day S-P-P Challenge). It came from this blog, doe Stuido. Here is the link It also has a great 52 Week Saving Challenge that I pinned four months ago and have been trying to follow (but forgot about...oops!).
  While I am only on Day 2, my thighs, butt and arms are killing me. Apparently I am more out of shape than I thought. If I can get my eating back under control I think this challenge will help tighten things up. It does not take a lot of time. This morning while my son slept I actually wanted to complete Day 2 because it's so easy to knock out. By Day 30 I'm confident I'll cry when I see I need to complete 100 squats. I'll just forget about those for now.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


 Saturday evening- a time of day when anything is possible. Maybe you're going out with your girlfriends for a night on the town. Perhaps you and your significant other are going to catch a movie and then have a delicious dinner. Then again, you could be spending your Saturday like me. Little dude crawling and babbling while I attempt to catch up on a t.v. show and decide whether or not I want to load the dishwasher. I'll probably load it and then reward myself with Cinderella because that seems to be the only interesting thing on tonight.
   It's okay that I'm having a laid back Saturday with my little dude. We had a lot of fun on my birthday this past Thursday and yesterday we were out. That's just too much for the baby monster (yes, that is a term of endearment for my son. It just rolled of the tongue one day. I'm also known as the mommy monster. He's a cute little monster). My son is like a little old man. He's set in his ways and would rather be home crawling on the floor while Mickey Mouse Club House is on in the background instead of being out visiting his Grams and Grandpa. I don't get it. He has a great Grams and Grandpa.
  Lets get back to my birthday. I did have a good one.The weather was gorgeous. My students made me feel very loved. I got a card and some sweet  notes that wished me a happy birthday with thanks for being their teacher. Those are some of the best gifts I could ever receive. Then they broke out singing "Happy Birthday" to me.
   After school I went home so my hubs and I could have dinner together and then we went to my parents' home because my dad ordered a birthday cake for me. He was very proud of his design decision. I'm blessed with such loving parents.
My dad has always known me well. Purple is my favorite color. 
   Though my birthday was low-key I enjoyed the time with family. Don't worry, I do plan to celebrate some more later down the road with my friends. We're going to get our paint on and dig down deep to find our inner artists. This, I cannot wait to do!
    This birthday was just a teeny bit hard for me to face. I'm on the other side of 25 now. Turning 25 was exciting since it felt like I was really in the adult club. I managed to achieve a lot by 25, which was a goal I had. It seemed like a good number. While I have a great many things to check off of my bucket list, it feels different now. I'm closer to 30 than I've been. Seriously, I can remember turning 10 and getting my brand new bike. It felt like yesterday. Sometimes I still feel like I'm 16 years old.            
    Knowing that 30 is not as far off as it has been really got to me. Mainly I'm still upset over the fact that I'm still not where I want to be physically. I still remember telling myself that it was okay to be chunky because I was going to get skinny by the time I reached my twenties. That did happen and then I let it slip away from me. Seven years later I'm back to telling myself that it's okay because I'm going to get skinny by the time I reach my thirties. To be honest, I am weary of this weight-loss battle. Since August I have lost 44 pounds. That is a huge loss and I know I'm on my way to getting back to where I was seven years ago. Right now I weigh the same as I did that day seven years ago when I told myself that enough was enough. It's mentally draining to keep telling myself that I am going to get past this point when I  keep getting angry that I was already here and had taken care of it. 
   What I need is a swift kick in the behind to get myself in gear. I have all the things I need to get going, but I'm not in the frame of mind to actually start. Frustrated does not even begin to describe what I feel. My birthday gift to myself has got to be the start of changing for good. A healthy life style was one of my major New Year's goals and here we are 4 months later and I can't even figure out an exercise routine. Thanks to some positive ladies I met while pregnant I joined an S-P-P challenge (squats, push-ups and planks). It's nothing major, but it's a start. I'll talk more about it because it's a simple thing to do each day for a person who wants to get a routine started. My overall goal is for my weight not to be on my mind everyday. I'd rather be thinking of Johnny Depp or what book I want to read next, not have my thoughts be interrupted while reading my book thinking, "Well the hero would not go for a girl like me because I look awful!" 
  This is not the direction I thought this post would take, but obviously these thoughts have been on my mind. That's what this blog is about though. Getting the many moments and thoughts out there to start each day new. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy Birthday In Heaven

If I have the story correct I believe today was my mom's original due date. It would have been pretty neat if I was born April 7th because I would have been able to share a birthday with my lovely Great-Aunt Erma and her brother, my wonderful Poppy. My mom told me that my Poppy had hoped we'd have the same birthday. I love thinking on that sweet little story.

My Poppy was a great man. He served in World War II, was a good husband and father, and a great grandfather. Until I was 14, I would only see him and my grandmother once a year because they lived in Florida while I was in New Jersey with my family. Usually we'd get to see them the month of May. I looked forward to that month every year and would just about die with excitement when my dad would tell us that my grandparents left Florida. I'd count down the two days it took them to drive. "Did they call? Are they here yet?" Bless my father because I asked that question every hour at times. 

I have a  few memories I can actually remember from my young years that involved my Poppy. I remember going out to dinner with him, my grandma and my aunts. I ordered iced tea thinking it would be lemon flavored, but it was not.  Another memory is shopping in a store like Wal-Mart and being able to pick out a toy. I remember picking out a baby doll with blond hair wearing a white dress. I couldn't contain my excitement and just talked to him on the drive home. He listened and joined in. My memories may not be exact, but they are like a water color painting all mixed together to create an overall image to look back on. Thank goodness for home videos and photos. I love looking back on them and smiling.

Even though moving from New Jersey to Florida was the biggest upheaval in my life that I've experienced, I am grateful for the move. It gave me a chance to get to know my grandparents better. One day I was feeling pretty down in the dumps because I was still the new student at school. I didn't know anyone so I just stayed home all summer (the joys of moving to a knew place right at the end of the school year). My Poppy noticed I wasn't happy. He looked at me and said, "It's not always going to be this way. Once school starts you'll make new friends and you'll be going out all the time. Hang in there." His words of encouragement cheered me up. He didn't say many words, but when he did they were always meaningful. He always took the time to tell me how proud he was of me. Those words still stay near my heart.

He passed away in early 2012 at the age of 90. Right before he passed away I graduated from college with my teaching degree and just a few days later married my husband. Everyday I am thankful that I was still able to share those joyous moments with him. I wish he was here to see my son, but I know he's watching from Heaven. Every time I sing, "You are My Sunshine" I think of my Poppy and smile. 

He is often in my thoughts and miss him dearly. I love him very much.

 Happy Birthday, Poppy! You're always in my heart.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Catch That Cat!

  Hello, my name is Karen and I am a cat person. Dogs are great, just when someone else owns them. I like how cats are independent. They'll seek me out when they want some loving which is less work for me.As long as I feed them, keep their litter box clean, and make sure they are healthy I can pretty much rest assured that my cats aren't plotting  to take over our home. Cats can be weird like that.

  My hubs and I are the owners of two very interesting cats. Seriously, as I am typing this my brother just sent me a text requesting  a picture of one of them. That would be Sammy the Siamese- he's just so large that no one believes you when you tell them. You have to show the pictures. The second cat is Peanut Butter McChunks, Mick for short. There is not one hair that has a peanut butter color to it on him. He's all black. He can thank the hubs for that name. 

  Personally, I think Mick feels left out because Sam is an attention hog. It's hard not to be when you are a cool cat. When my hubs took them to a routine vet check-up, Mick was finished with his check-up pretty quickly. Sammy's check-up was longer, and it wasn't due to the fact that he had something horribly wrong with him. Nope. He's our "exotic" cat. The vet and the vet assistants at the clinic were passing him around and showing him off because they couldn't get over how mellow he was, how cool he looked and how large he was. How could Mick not develop a cat complex?

  The past seven months haven't been a picnic for Mick either. Throughout my entire pregnancy he was by my side. I thought that it meant a future friendship between him and my son. Mick was always on the belly. Once we got home from the hospital with our sweet son who wailed loud enough to wake the dead, Mick was out of sight. Sam has adjusted well. He's the cat who's developing a pet relationship with my son. They're buds. Mick just wants my attention and I feel bad because once I am able to give it to him that is when my seventh month old decides he needs my attention as well. You can only guess who wins the attention contest. This means Mick as been acting out lately by doing some really annoying things!

  I thought it was annoying when he'd hide in the bedroom while we were putting our son to bed. He'd make it so hard to get him out that it required the laser pointer and cat treats every time. Then he'd find something else- like chewing on our stash of bottled water and putting holes in the lids with his teeth. He recently has found a better way to grab our attention. 

  That is Mick escaping from our second floor porch to the second floor porch across the way. Clearly we can't allow him on the porch anymore, even with supervision. Seriously, why is my porch not screened in? This has been the greatest annoyance of my life since moving into our place a few years ago. Screens keep cats in and bugs out! I wasn't home to deal with this lovely attention seeking ploy because I was at work. My hubs had to figure this one out. It involved cat treats and my non-stop laughter. 

  What's really sad? This cat escape was the most entertaining thing to happen to us all week. Please, don't think for one second that I am not totally amused with my son. He's captured my heart and I could watch him scoot, crawl and drool all day. He cracks me up, makes me smile and fills my heart with joy. However, it is nice to get out every now and then and DO something. We've been lacking in that area lately. It's the new parent life we have going on (and the fact that bills just keep coming every month. What is up with that?). I think by the time our son is a year old we'll have it figured out...I hope. So while Mick pulled a naughty cat trick, I have to thank him for some amusement. 

I am crossing my fingers for a more exciting weekend next week. Clearly we need it.